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Diesel and Health in America: The Lingering Threat

February 21, 2005
Publication Cover

Everyone has experienced it: getting hit right in the face by a cloud of acrid diesel smoke. Perhaps you were standing on a street corner when a bus or truck whizzed by. Or maybe you were standing at a bus stop or stuck behind a dump truck grinding up a hill. But breathing diesel exhaust isn’t just unpleasant. It is hazardous to your health. In fact, health research indicates that the portion of the exhaust you can’t see may be the most dangerous of all. The good news is that the technology exists right now to clean up emissions from these engines, so that most of the adverse health impacts can be prevented.

This report summarizes the findings of the Abt Associates study. It then reviews the degree to which diesel vehicles increase the level of fine particle pollution in the air we breathe, and recommends reduction measures that will save thousands of lives each year.